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For the latest COVID-19 information, visit vcuhealth.org/covid-19 or Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU for pediatrics. For vaccine details, visit vcuhealth.org/covidvaccine.

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If shaking the other team’s hand matters, this shot matters

Ed McLaughlin Ed McLaughlin, vice president and director, VCU Athletics

Since March 2020, Ed and the 17 men’s and women’s teams that make up VCU Athletics have lived test result-to-test result, with positive results shutting down games — and the A10 championship — entirely.

“Vaccination is the single most important thing we can do to get back to normal,” Ed said. “Come August 1, we're prepared to have our fall sports start and get our students back here and get ready to have an academic year like we all know.”

This shot matters, he said, “because I'd like to have 8,000 people back in the Siegel Center next year. I want it to be rocking and rolling. I want it to be wild with the band and our spirit squads, and I want our student-athletes to have the goosebumps I'm feeling right now.

“Playing basketball in an empty arena was weird. It was like watching practice all year long. And the hard part of that is, when I'm yelling at the referees, they could hear me. I got a couple bench warnings this year, and I’d like to not have that again. So get the vaccine, if only for my sake.”

Normalcy also means re-establishing VCU Athletics’ role in the region and playing a central part in building a more just and equitable society.

“If we don't set a standard of how things need to be done, then we're failing, whether it's from a vaccination perspective, from a social justice perspective or from a return-to-life perspective,” Ed said. “If we're not setting the standard, we are failing our community.

To get vaccinated, go to vaccinate.virginia.gov. To read more stories like this, visit vcuhealth.org/thisshotmatters.